Since 1978, Advocates For Children has played an essential role in Androscoggin County as a leader in child abuse prevention. We firmly believe that supporting the healthy growth and development of children and families occurs through a commitment to life-long education and community outreach. AFC serves as a comprehensive resource for parents of children of all ages, answering questions, providing workshops and classes, and helping parents navigate the challenging world of raising children.
A Leader in Abuse Prevention
A non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, Advocates for Children (AFC) is the only agency in Androscoggin County dedicated to the prevention of child maltreatment.
- What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse or neglect are defined as a threat to a child’s health or welfare due to physical, mental or emotional injury or impairment, sexual abuse or exploitation, deprivation of essential needs or lack of protection from these by a parent or caregiver who is responsible for the child.
- Types of abuse, as defined by the State of Maine, The Department of Health and Human Services
- Physical abuse – Abusive treatment to a child by a parent or caregiver that caused or is likely to cause physical injury. Injuries may include bruises, lacerations, adult bites, burns, fractures, and head trauma.
- Emotional abuse – Abusive treatment by a parent/caregiver that has resulted in emotional impairment or distress in a child.
- Neglect – Failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, supervision, or medical care causing or is likely to cause injury including accidental injury or illness. Also failure to protect a child from harm resulting in physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse.
- Sexual abuse – A parent/caregiver engaged in sexual contact with a child, or forces a child to have sexual contact with others.
Designated CAN Council
AFC is the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council (CAN Council) for Androscoggin County. As a CAN Council, we provide local programming, support for statewide initiatives and collaborations, as well as training and technical assistance when appropriate. Because of this designation, AFC is eligible to apply for grant funding under the Child Abuse and Prevention Treatment Act.
Each county in the state has a designated CAN Council awarded through the Maine Children’s Trust.
A Valuable Resource for Parents, Caregivers & Professionals
The staff at AFC includes experienced, highly trained and compassionate professionals who specialize in social work, early childhood development, psychology, prevention education in schools and the community, and professional training for service providers.
Our educators use evidence-based curriculums for all of our parenting programs. These curriculums build upon the ‘Protective Factors Framework’ a nationally recognized framework for parenting education that builds family strengths and a family environment that promotes optimal child and youth development. Research documents that each of the 5 protective factors helps to prevent child abuse and neglect, and helps to promote thriving children, families and communities.